Prosecutors: Murder suspect wrote ‘In my mind, it’s my fault’
BY JANET LUNDQUIST firstname.lastname@example.org June 27, 2013 4:54PM
Ricardo Gutierrez | photo from Will County Sheriff's office
Updated: July 30, 2013 8:34AM
An emotional letter, a mysterious interview and a jailhouse phone call all could play into a Chicago man’s bid for a new trial in his murder case.
Ricardo Gutierrez, 24, was convicted of the 2007 murder of Javier Barrios in Plainfield after a March trial in Will County.
Barrios, 18, was shot to death Oct. 28, 2007, behind a gas station near 135th Street and Route 59 in Plainfield.
Police arrested Gutierrez and Barrios’ ex-girlfriend, Gabriela Escutia, 24, of Joliet, on first-degree murder charges two days after the shooting.
Gutierrez’s sentencing hearing, as well as a hearing on his motion for a new trial, is scheduled for July 10 before Judge Carla Alessio-Policandriotes. Escutia’s case has not yet gone to trial.
After Gutierrez’s conviction, Escutia allegedly began pouring out her heart to Gutierrez’s mother in a phone call and a letter.
Gutierrez’s attorneys, Jeff Tomczak and Paul Napolski, on Thursday gave prosecutors a letter recently received by Gutierrez’s mother, signed “Gaby,” which Tomczak said he believes is Escutia.
“I need to ask you to forgive me, because in my mind, it’s my fault,” the letter reads. “Richie loved me so much, maybe still does to the point where all he wanted was (to) protect me.
“I ask god that one day you and him can forgive me,” the letter reads. “I don’t want to intimidate you or bother you but I had to let you know everything I just said in this letter.”
Gutierrez’s attorneys have also subpoenaed records of phone calls from Escutia at the Will County Jail to Gutierrez’s mother’s number. Prosecutors and Escutia’s attorney, Chuck Bretz, both are fighting the subpoena.
Gutierrez’s attorneys want to hear a phone call Escutia placed in May to Gutierrez’s mother, where she allegedly told her she would have testified during Gutierrez’s trial as they requested, except her attorneys threatened to withdraw from her case if she did.
Attorneys on July 10 may also argue about the subpoena for phone records.
Also Thursday, Assistant State’s Attorney Frank Byers said Plainfield police recently interviewed a person known as “Troubles,” who allegedly was in a car with Gutierrez and Escutia the night of the murder.
Byers said he had not yet watched the videotaped interview and would not say what Troubles’ real name is, but said that he wanted to make defense attorneys aware of it.